16 June 2017

EBMA e-newsletter, June 2017

The European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA) has issued the third of its new monthly e-newsletters.

The lead feature is the recent hospitalisation of Bill Clifton (86) for intestinal surgery, from which he is now recovering.* Bill, who calls himself 'just a person who sings traditional country music', was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2008, and the biography of him by Bill C. Malone, Bill Clifton: America's bluegrass ambassador to the world, was published in October last year. The title is specially apt as regards his influence on bluegrass in Europe.

The second and final part of the interview with mandolin maestro Mike Marshall (USA) deals - among many other things - with his love of Brazilian choro music. He is seen below in the centre of a jam in Europe; Eugene O'Brien, Dublin-born chairman of the EBMA, is on banjo on the left of the picture.

The interview mentions the adoption of bluegrass instruments into the syllabus of Boston's Berklee College, and a Berklee campus at Barcelona is now offering programmes.

The newsletter continues with illustrated reports on the 20th and final European World of Bluegrass Festival at Voorthuizen, NL, and on Roberto Dalla Vecchia's 13th Acoustic Guitar Workshop in Italy (both in May), gig lists and event calendars for EBMA-affiliated artists and festivals, and reviews of CDs - including the latest album from the Original Five (SE), who completed a tour in Ireland earlier this week.

*Update 3 July: Thanks to Richard Thompson, who reports that Bill Clifton has been in and out of hospital since the surgery early last month, with complications including heart-rate fluctuation, pneumonia, and reaction to antibiotics. Pending confirmation, Bill is believed to be now convalescing at home and eating normal food.

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